Utah Guard's 128th MPAD Supports Successful Cobra Gold 2010

 

By SSG DaleAnne Maxwell

 

>>>Cobra Gold Photo Gallery<<<

 

Published February 25, 2010

 

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SPC Ashley Baum, left, records LTG Benjamin Mixon, commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific, foreground, at Cobra Gold 2010 in Thailand.

Photo by SSG DaleAnne Maxwell

SPC Ashley Baum, left, records LTG Benjamin Mixon, commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific, foreground, at Cobra Gold 2010 in Thailand.

UTAPAO AIR BASE, Thailand — Members of the Utah National Guard’s 128th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment returned home Feb. 12 after completing their mission to Thailand in support of the annual Cobra Gold exercise.

Cobra Gold is a yearly joint multinational exercise designed to train military forces from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the U.S. in peacekeeping, humanitarian and disaster-response operations in a Coalition environment.

The six-member team from the 128th worked alongside U.S. Army Pacific Public Affairs and Coalition partners in the Combined Joint Information Bureau at Utapao Air Base.

The MPAD members were assigned various tasks during Cobra Gold 2010 to include supporting new media (Facebook, Flickr); DVIDS (Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System); editing Cobra Strike, the official publication of Cobra Gold 2010; and producing print, broadcast and new-media articles for internal and external distribution.

SPC Ashley Baum, left, and SSG DaleAnne Maxwell, right, of the 128th MPAD, capture the Cobra Gold 2010 opening ceremony Feb. 1.

Photo by CPT Wencke Tate

SPC Ashley Baum, left, and SSG DaleAnne Maxwell, right, of the

128th MPAD, capture the Cobra Gold 2010 opening ceremony Feb. 1.

Working with active-duty Soldiers and Marines at Cobra Gold 2010 also helped 128th Soldiers to fine tune their public affairs skills.

"I worked with counterparts from different Services in the U.S. Military and was able to learn how to be a more efficient and stronger broadcaster because of their influence," said Spc. Ashley Baum, a broadcaster with the 128th MPAD. "Since I am in the National Guard, I don't have the ability to practice my MOS as often as some of the active-duty Soldiers and Marines. They helped me see what areas I need to work on and how those improvements will enhance my broadcast work in the future."

Working with active-duty Servicemembers, Soldiers of the 128th were also able to use systems not available back home, such as DVIDS, a state-of-the-art, 24/7 operation that provides a connection between the media around the world and the U.S. military.

SPC Lyndsey Dransfield, photojournalist with the Utah Guard's 128th MPAD, photographs a hazmat training exercise at Cobra Gold 2010.

Photo by SSG DaleAnne Maxwell

SPC Lyndsey Dransfield, photojournalist with the Utah Guard's 128th MPAD, photographs a hazmat training exercise at Cobra Gold 2010.

Not having used DVIDS previously did not stop Sgt. 1st Class Nichole Bonham, DVIDS noncommissioned officer in charge and 128th unit-readiness NCOIC, from accomplishing her mission.

Bonham was able to upload directly to the DVIDS site and managed a successful live interview with the commanding general of United States Army, Pacific, Benjamin R. Mixon for a Pentagon press brief.

Overall, serving at Cobra Gold 2010 helped members of the 128th to train and grow together.

"I feel the training exercise allowed me to grow into a better Soldier," said Baum. "And now I can take what I learned and apply it to the broadcast section in the unit and help the other broadcasters grow."